Daily Wire Tip March 12: Hole Sizes in Beads

By on March 12, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
March 12, 2010


How can I tell the size of the hole in the bead?  I am working with 18 gauge wire.  Most beads don’t fit.


When you are purchasing beads via a catalogue or a website, often the vendor will list the size of the hole in mm. To reference the hole size against the wire size, see the Conversion Table at the bottom of this page, where 18g wire is listed as having a diameter of 1.02mm (or .0508 inch) https://wire-sculpture.com/pages/wire_footage_charts.html When shopping for beads in person, carry a 2-inch piece of each wire you use on a regular basis, in your wallet.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Have a question? Submit your question here


  1. avatar


    March 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Dale’s suggestion of carrying a sample of the wire that one intends to use as stringing material along while shopping for beads is an amazingly simple solution, but it is something most of us would forget to do initially, and we would end up with beads that we couldn’t use for our intended purpose without changing wire gauge. Good tip!

  2. avatar


    March 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Carrying that 2 inch piece of wire to a bead show was one of the first things Dale taught us to do. There is nothing more fustrating than falling in love with a strand of beads and discovering that the idea you had for their use won’t work because the hole drilled thru the bead is too small for your wire.

  3. avatar


    March 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    hello! I just wanted to say thank you for the ‘wire guage to mm conversion table’ you offered in your tip of the day today. much appreciated! julie.

  4. avatar

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor

    March 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    That is a great tip! It would be a good idea to have a ring with all the sizes on it and labeled some way. Wouldn’t be such a bad idea to include beading wire and cording as well. Would become a very helpful tool!

  5. avatar


    March 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I have tried to collect various sizes of wires at home more to fit the beads I find rather than having the beads fit the wire I’m using. I found the more basic materials I can collect the better I’m prepared for odd bead sizes that I may find.


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